In a formal declaration last week, a group of Western New York physicians announced preliminary findings that indicate a direct correlation between the remarkably poor quality of photos in the Buffalo News and a drastic regional upsurge in ocular disorders, including double vision, esotropia (being “cross-eyed”), and an inability to properly focus. Many sufferers have actually displayed external visual symptoms, such as blurriness, poor color fidelity and low resolution. The announcement confirmed widely held suspicions that the News’ woefully malfunctioning printing presses were damaging the eyesight of area readers, as well as causing them to take on a fuzzy, distorted appearance.
The study, funded by a consortium of sufferers and News photographers, followed the reading habits of out-of-focus area residents, finding a common thread of daily perusal of the Buffalo News. “It’s a pretty unique outbreak,” Said Dr. Milton Vendred, one of the lead researchers. “The only precedent we can find is the nationwide Waviness epidemic of the ‘80s.” Waviness, which primarily affected adolescent males who were trying to watch scrambled porn on basic cable, has virtually disappeared since the proliferation of the Internet.
“I can’t even bear to look at him,” said Rita Cullingash of her young, blurry son Gunter. “It hurts my eyes, and I can’t make out his facial expressions anyway. He always misses his mouth with his food; it’s a disgusting mess.” Gunter is frustrated with his condition, but adds, “what am I gonna do? It’s a one-paper town. I gotta get my local news somehow. It’s not like the local TV chumps are filling the void.”
The Buffalo News responded to the announcement by repeating their often-made claims to have purchased “new presses,” a tactic they’ve used often over the last few years. Public reaction was doubtful. “They’ve been telling us about these new printing presses for a while now,” said Joan Crabtree, another cross-eyed News subscriber. “I’m beginning to think it’s, like, their Canadian girlfriend, you know? They go on and on about how great it all is, but I haven’t seen any evidence.”
A spokesman for Warren Buffet, the Buffalo News’ owner, said that the correlation between News reading and eye problems is “dubious, and requires further study before any action is taken” by the organization. “After all,” he said, “what are you going to do? It’s a one-paper town. You’ve got to get your local news somehow. It’s not like the Courier-Express is going to take our readership, heh heh.”
Asked why Buffalo residents should be expected to pay money for a paper of poorer visual quality than any of a number of totally free local publications, Buffet’s spokesman said people needed the News because “it’s the only paper in town that gives us what we want: soothing, whitewashed, opinion-free news, devoid of meaningful critical analysis. Where else are you going to get that locally, except Artefakt?”